Just one candidate stands in the way of goalkeeper Nick Pope’s chances of winning October’s battle for the Player of the Month award, according to Clarets centre back Ben Mee.
The 25-year-old has taken to the top flight like a duck to water and the former Charlton Athletic stopper now has the chance to follow in the footsteps of Sadio Mane and Harry Kane, who respectively scooped the accolades for August and September.
Pope, whose save to shot ratio was the highest in the league at 0.35, made 21 stops in four games throughout the month and kept two clean sheets as Sean Dyche’s side took seven points from four games.
Mee feels that form would be good enough to seal the deal nine times out of 10 but his team-mate finds himself up against Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
With Nacho Monreal, Glenn Murray, Leroy Sane and Wilfried Zaha also in the running for the gong, Mee said: “It’s just a shame he’s up against Kevin De Bruyne otherwise he might have a chance. He’s been fantastic, he made a few good saves again today.
“He’s been really solid, he looks assured and he looks confident.
“He’s so big he just comes and claims the ball really easy.
“You never know how someone’s going to come in and do, he’s performed well in training but he’s looking confident and looking good.”
Pope made another string of impressive save to keep Southampton out at St Mary’s at the weekend, with a flying save to deny Maya Yoshida the pick of the bunch.
Since Pope’s introduction, an unchanged back five for Burnley has now kept five clean sheets 675 minutes of Premier League football.
With substitute Sam Vokes’s strike proving the difference against the Saints, Mee said: “It’s a collective effort from the whole team. Nobody likes taking credit, we work well as a whole team and the whole squad is ready to come in and work hard for each other.
“We work on it. The whole back four is looking solid, Popey has come in and done really well. The whole team today worked so hard and I thought we were fantastic.
“It’s not a bad away performance that, it’s the perfect one. It was a fantastic win.”
He added: “We were solid as always and we managed to nick that goal. I think Barnesy and Vokesy were fantastic when they came on and they changed the game for us.
“We’ve been solid and we’ve been grinding out games and winning games. We’ve played as well and we’ve come away from home now and had a few tough away games and we’re growing and growing. We’re looking really solid.”